A garden is a creation that evolves from season-to-season and year-to-year. It isn't just about making your house look good. Gardening is about the beautiful annual, perennial, bulb, and rose flowers, as well as trees, shrubs, and groundcovers that put on a year-round gardening show. You don't need a huge outdoor space, sprawling formal lawn or a multitude of planted borders to be creative. A dash of design know-how, a mood board of references and a clever color scheme can turn even the tiniest balcony or little lawn into a sanctuary.
Caring for plants can also do wonders for your own well being, an abundance of scientific research suggests. The physical exercise like gardening can contribute to a healthy lifestyle and good blood pressure levels, and just interacting with colorful flora can improve your mood and mental health and make them strong. Nature has a huge impact on health and our wealth.
Here are a few benefits of garden beds that activate you to do gardening:
Good news for those who already spend hours planting perennials: Gardening is considered moderate-intensity exercise. You can burn about 330 calories doing one hour of light gardening and yard work — more than walking at a moderate pace for the same amount of time. Men and women who participated in a community gardening program also had significantly lower BMI (body mass indexes) than their neighbors, according to a 2013 study.
Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity most days of the week can prevent and control high blood pressure. In fact, The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends gardening or raking leaves for 30-45 minutes as examples of how to hit that recommended amount.
When you're outdoors and your skin is exposed to the sun, it prompts your body to make vitamin D. This vitamin — also found in fish and fortified foods like milk — helps your body absorb calcium, a mineral essential for bone formation, according to the National Institutes of Health. You should still apply sunscreen if you're planning on spending more than a few minutes in the sun to lower your risk of skin cancer.
Besides the physical exercise, you'll get tending to a vegetable garden, a productive plot can also promote a better diet by supplying fresh, healthy produce. The Dietary Guidelines recommend eating at least 2 cups of vegetables and 1½ cups of fruits per day to get the necessary nutrients and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Gardening helps people develop a lasting habit of eating enough fruits and vegetables though, according to 2016 research from the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
Gardening is positively correlated with a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, according to a 2017 meta-analysis in Preventive Medicine Reports that looked at 22 different case studies.
In fact, some hospitals even use planting and flower arranging as a type of rehabilitation for people recovering from injuries, strokes, surgeries, and other conditions. Not only does it give people control over a situation when they might feel helpless, but it also teaches them a new skill that can restore confidence. These benefits can extend outside of a healthcare setting too. "People are so busy — there's so much stress now with electronic media all over the place. People need respite and nature provides respite.
You don't have to weed alone – nor should you. People who worked in allotment gardens had significantly better self-esteem, total mood disturbance, and general health compared to those who did not garden, according to a 2016 study published in the Journal of Public Health. Even better, it's something almost anyone can partake in.
The act of growing plants may also help you in boosting your mood. The 2017 meta-analysis also linked gardening with increases in quality of life and reductions in mood disturbance. This may have something to do with how it changes your outlook. The thing about gardening is that you have to have faith in the future.
"Growing something green, something real, something which is alive, is a very hopeful thing to do."